Post Vipassana,…

Having done a small number of ten day vipassana sits before I was looking forward to it with some nervousness.  The 4am starts, the commitment to refrain from speaking (apart from in my head), to not  do any form of exercise apart from walking and lastly but not least sitting on my meditation cushion for hours upon hours,…

This was my first Satipatthana sit at the constantly evolving and expanding European Long Course Centre of Dhamma Padana in Hereford.  To my surprise I had a self contained unit, room with attached bathroom.  The meals were to be provided breakfast at 6.30am and lunch 11am and that would be it for the rest of the day.  One of the rules being as an ‘old student’ (some one who has sat at last one ten day course) one abstains from eating after 12 noon.  However, its worth noting that whilst there were 50 students on this past retreat.  There are plans to increase the capacity of the center to 100 with a purpose build pagoda complete with individual cells for each person to meditate in private.  Big plans but for sure they are getting there with the help of volunteers and all through public donations.

Anyhow, back to my sit, the Satipatthana course was only eight days long rather than ten, with the evening discourse focusing on the Maha Satipatthana Sutta.  I guess the reason its shorter is that there are no new students and the assumption being old students would work harder.  Obviously it is questionable whether this is true for me.

So what came up as I sat on that meditation cushion, my instructions from Goenkaji were to observe rather react to the sensations in the body beginning with Anapana, awareness of the breath and its sensations below the nostrils above the upper lip.  Then after day three move on to Vipassana complete bodily awareness and observation.

The intention of this practice is to address the route cause of suffering through what Goenkaji (left) calls our cravings and aversions and this is perpetuated through our old habit patterns of the mind of wanting and not wanting.  By sitting and observing the body, one is in theory able to dismantle these patterns.

So what happened?  At the start of every sit focus breath, sensations,.. within seconds my mind is off wondering through the draws of uncompleted tasks and projects I have left behind in London.  Its either that or my body decides to completely shut down as it assumes as there is nothing to be thinking about apart from observing the body then it might as well fall asleep.  Nodding off is incredibly easy for me to do in meditation, a bit like doing savasana (corpse pose) in hatha yoga, but unlike yoga you are supposed to be sitting upright and I was constantly jolting myself awake from the fear of head butting the floor.

You would assume that sitting and doing nothing but sitting, upright with the straight back would be relatively straight forward.  Well the number of physical discomforts in my body during previous courses are numerous and this most recent was no different.  It was this that most nerved me ‘OK so what pain am I doing to go through this time?’  As predicted it happened.  First it was my shoulders, then ankles and then hips and of course the rounded slumped back and the crocked neck.  Having to observe and not react to these physical discomforts was really challenging.  Goenkaji guided me with his vibrational tones of being equanimous and that all things are changing and it will all pass.  There are several time that I don’t quiet believe him.

By day five or six the physical discomforts of sitting and the perpetual nodding off are subsiding however, the my mind is having a fantastic time roaming from one thought to the next.  I was surprised at the number of mundane things that can come up like cleaning the inside of my car to sorting out my sock drawer to recycling my old clothes,.. the power of the frittering mind is phenomenal.  All in the avoidance of observing the sensations of the body.

Whilst sitting, I realise that what is happening on my meditation cushion is a reflection of what is going on in my outside world.  The inability to focus and the persistent ability to procrastinate.  I have made a decision this has to change.  How I plan to do this is, I guess for another blog entry but mediation is definitely in the picture.  I am grateful to have sat on this course and am now wondering when can I do another?  Oh the wanting continues,…

Satipatthana Sutta Vipassana

Posted 8th December 2010

Am both looking forward and dreading my forthcoming vipassana sit, the aim is to quieten my busy mind and allow me to focus on the more important things in life!  So will update you on my developments post 18th December,…

Yoga Flash Mob

So did it happen?

Some of us actually got completely stuck with the traffic,.. on the day the London hit a Saturday late morning afternoon snow storm,.. OK that may be a bit 0f too much personal information about where I was at,… but life goes on and I am not the center of the universe.

The Yoga Flash mob happened,… click here to see!

Organised by Yoga for Unity

Posted: 7th December 2010

Date: 18th December 2010
Time: 12.30-13.30hrs
Location Covent Garden

Yoga For Unity is working on an awareness campaign for a charity group called The Africa Yoga Project to support Kenyan yoga teachers who, using yoga are tackling Tribalism in their country. Already this has seen many youths, who were idle and living in the slums, to receive a personal transformation through the practice of yoga. It is this experience that the yoga teachers would like to take out to the the rural districts in Ke…nya Rift Valley, to bring transformation on community levels.

Yoga For Unity is having it’s big launch for this awareness campaign on Saturday 18th December and will be hosting “Flash Mob” style events in London, in LA and in Kenya. These events will be Yoga Sessions, where volunteers on the day in guise as normal members of the public will drop to the floor, roll out yoga mats and will complete the Sun Salutation series for 5 – 10 minutes.

The London event will be on Saturday, December 18 at 1pm in Covent Garden (more exact location to come) and will last about 5-10 minutes, max. We are pushing publicity for this event far and wide and we’re promising a short, edited video of the three events combined. We will load this up on Youtube once the event is over to carry on the support over Christmas!

For more information search for Yoga for Unity on Facebook

AcroYoga in Brighton

A day of acrobatics and flying transitions

OK this is not quiet hanging out hey but it looks pretty cool!

When: 17th April 2011, 10.30-5.30pm

Where: Brighton Natural Health Centre, Brighton UK

Price: £50 on the day or £40 concessions or if booked before 4th April 2011.

This workshop forms the second part to our offering at the Brighton Natural Health Centre.

Tap into your acrobatic potential. Believe in the possible.

AcroYoga – Flying Transitions – advance to intermediate level

Learn to flip, spin, drop back and float, all while suspended in the air with the support of a partner! Using time-tested acrobatic training techniques, students will learn how to combine basic flying positions with inversions to create dynamic flying flows. We will demonstrate techniques for bases, flyers and spotters that will keep the flying safe and supported. Come with a familiarity with handstands and 3-6 months a AcroYoga experience.

Please contact the studio for bookings: –


Telephone: +44 1273 600 010

A day of yummy massage and flying therapeutics

Now there is a now way to 'hang out'!

When: Sunday 13th March 2011, 9.30-4.30pm
Brighton Natural Health Centre, Brighton UK.

Price: £50 on the day £40 concession or if booked before 28th February 2011

This workshop is part of a two part series at the Brighton Natural Health Centre for 2011 the first focusing on therapeutics.

Come along and indulge yourself!

AcroYoga – Thai and Fly – open to all levels

Teachers – Jaqui & Anna

Therapeutic flying and Thai massage are the practices that hone an AcroYogis ability to be sensitive and receptive. Students will learn and practice honest, clear, compassionate communication to build the foundation of partnership. We will draw upon the natural forces of gravity and “metta” loving kindness to encourage the body to let go of fear and tension. The flow of basing and flying, giving and receiving, honoring and accepting, inhaling and exhaling will take both yogis into a new place of union and bliss. Some yoga experience recommended, no partner needed.

Please contact the studio for bookings: –


Telephone: +44 1273 600 010

An Acro weekend intensive with Jaqui and Jesse

Posted 9th September 2010

When: 23rd & 24th October 2010

Where: Brighton Natural Health Centre Brighton BN1 1UL

Price: £100 GBP before 10/08/2010 £120 GBP after 10/08/2010

*All participants must pre-register and complete an application form*

**All accepted participants will be required to attend the whole weekend.
There will be no opportunity to drop in for one day**

For info please email with the heading: Advanced Acro @ BNHC

Getting the foundations, inversions & balancing Saturday 23rd October :10.30 – 1.30pm & 2.30 – 5.30pm

Exploring the principles of acrobatics, we will focus on alignment and strength as the building blocks to embodying inversions and acrobatic balancing. We will create a safe container based on the art and skills of great spotting that will serve to support our play mates throughout the weekend. Using these foundations and a smattering of games and group exercises we will progress from basic to more complex partner acrobatics; cultivating trust and clear communication, whilst homing in on the roles of basing and flying.

Exploring acrobatic flying transitions Sunday 24th October: 10.30 – 1.30pm & 2.30 – 5.30pm

Building on the foundations of previous day, we will begin to work on simple to complex flying transitions and washing machines. Working mainly in acrobatic trios, with clearly defined roles of being a base or flyer; the day will focus on the ability to work with compassion, honesty and mutual support to achieve the groups’ success through a variety of acrobatic skills and tricks. You will be faced with challenges and fears but will learn how to deal with them head on through your inner strength, group support and a knowledge that safety is everyones’ priority.

To participate in this weekend offering we require you to: –
1. Have experience basing and flying acrobatic flying transitions.
2. Can you do a one minute handstand against the wall.
3. Can you do a one minute headstand in the middle of the room without a spot.
4. Can you base or fly star and shoulder stand on hands.
5. Have you studied the AcroYoga Flight Manual.

My 108 New Year Sun Salutations

My New Year Sun-salutations

OK the whole 108 took two and a quarter hours on the Saturday morning from 10-12.15pm.  Have to say after about 30 – 40 sun salutations I began thinking to myself why did I decide to do this?  I could stop now and no one would know, I have no witnesses to say the contrary,… but I persevered and by about 80 I realised I was on the home straight.

Have to say felt very exhilarated after doing it, but my hamstrings (backs of my legs) have been soar for the last few days.